They are things that make us feel great, inspire us, or crush us. We can roll them around, play with them, or hush them up and censor them.
Like businesses, churches and political parties use marketing techniques to promote ideas. In ancient history, Aristotle wrote about rhetoric and set the foundation for modern marketing which shows us how to segment groups by the way people adopt ideas and products. Once we understand these different groups, we can communicate effectively with them and persuade them to buy.
Early and late majority groups obtain ideas and information from friends and family and think in conventional, traditional ways that their church or televangelist or scientologist leader teaches them. They represent the majority of our population, the largest market of goods and of ideas. Their sheer numbers represent the largest potential votes and buyers of consumer goods. Election campaign strategists and marketers break these large groups down into more precise segments by cultural behavior based on race, religion, income, and other attributes.
Laggards are the mentally slow moving groups, the skin heads, the motor heads, the redneck racists who live on the margins and in gangs and organized crime rings. They often succeed in obtaining or maintaining money and power by illegal means. Laggards can include extremist political groups like the right-wing Republican Party currently in power who, once paid by status quo industries, use illegal means to assure higher profits for the inefficient markets like health insurance, tobacco, energy, and war contractors.
Laggards do not necessarily belong to the dregs of social classes. Educated professionals can easily fit into the laggard segment by their backward, illegal behavior and ideology. For many years, and despite Al Gore's public information campaigns, Bush Jr. criminally suppressed and distorted information about the looming global warming disaster, as he did regarding invading Iraq. The Laggard neocons placed their financial and ideological interests above public interests and thus held society from advancing forward with solutions to avoid energy disasters and war.
Early and Late Majority Consumers
The early and late majority groups enjoy platitudes and preconceived ideas void of any connection to reality. The early and late majority groups make up the bulk of mainstream America. They tend to ignore facts for the sake of what they feel convenient to believe.
"There you have it encapsulated, the McCain campaign for president, an irrational mélange of patriotic swagger and blindness to reality that is proving disturbingly successful with uninformed voters. How else to explain the many millions of Americans who tell pollsters they prefer a continuation of Republican rule when so many of them are losing their homes to foreclosure and the nation is devastated by out-of-control military spending?"– quoted from Robert Sheer's Smirking Chimp article, McCain's Warped Worldview.
Despite McCain's lack of understanding the economy, his own wealth, and the situation in Iraq, as in so many other issues, a surprisingly large number of Americans buy into his policies to stay the same course Bush charted. Even though McSame is too feeble minded to remember how many houses he owns, or the difference between Sunni and Shiite, or the location of Iran, many members of the Majority segments cling to the illusions of Bush Jr.'s heroic presidency.
Typically people in these Early or Late Majority segments are afraid of ideas, especially the new and innovative or even scientific. In most of our current forms of American Christianity, and especially in Islam, new ideas are evil and can cause a person to be banished, even imprisoned or executed, for not following the authoritarian or the group's way of thinking.
In the 1960's, American writers emphasized individual thought and creativity. It was a time of revolt against preconceived ideas. Politically aware songs, rock 'n roll, novels, and activism inspired even some of the Majority groups to consider issues like racism and unjustified war.
Now, as usual, the majority segment of Americans have settled into their conforming mold, more willing to follow authoritarian, political laggards and commercial trends. Many novelists write purely escapist, commercial stories that only entertain in order to sell for maximum income. They care little about revealing the lies of powerful laggards. Many song writers and novelists have had a negative effect on today's culture by closing their eyes and allowing the extremist right-wing laggards to gain political power and to strengthen their position. Popular art can broaden awareness to the Early and Late Majority about political deceptions.
Conflicts between the Innovators and the Laggards
Ideas can make us dizzy and faint, especially when we are weak minded. They can make us think and thinking can be hard. Ideas can separate us from the crowd, from the group, even from our family. They can turn us into individuals with soul and spirit.